Walt Disney World Union Leader Calls on Governor DeSantis to Allow Cast Members to Be Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the United States, Walt Disney World’s largest union is calling on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to allow Cast Members to become eligible for the vaccine.
UNITE HERE! Local 362‘s President Eric Clinton told WFTV that he felt it was time that Cast Members were included in the currently eligible groups, saying “At the end of the day, DeSantis has said he’s not putting workers first, he’s putting seniors first, and at this point I think it’s time to move on past that.” Clinton cited the fact that over 30,000 Cast Members work at the resort’s theme parks and hotels, primarily coming from Orange County, calling it “no small number.”
While Cast Members do wear face coverings while working at Walt Disney World, Clinton added that he felt that making them eligible for vaccines would help bring those who are currently furloughed back to work sooner, as well as help restore consumer confidence and bring guests back to the resort. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was unclear when WFTV’s Lauren Seabrook asked about moving up theme park workers, implying that his priority is focused on making essential workers eligible, including first responders, teachers, and grocery store workers and saying that it depended on how much vaccine would be available.
Walt Disney World is currently the largest single-site employer in the United States, and a significant part of Florida’s economy. Back in January, the resort was being considered as a vaccine distribution site. Clinton believed that it would benefit Disney to help push for vaccinations, saying “I think Walt Disney World would have an interest in being able to say very publicly, our employees are now getting vaccinated.”
Keep reading WDWNT for more on this ongoing story.